Hunter Biden, White House
Hunter Biden in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2022. Photo credit: © Gripas Yuri/Abaca via ZUMA Press

Hunter Biden's plea deal keeps him out of prison. Maybe Donald Trump should take some notes on how it's done.

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Hunter Biden and federal prosecutors have reached an agreement that would keep the president’s son out of prison if he pleads guilty to two minor tax crimes and admits to lying about his drug use on an application to purchase a gun.

As counterintuitive as that may sound, this is probably good news for Joe Biden. Hunter won’t serve time in prison (although who knows what he will do during the two years of probation that is part of the deal), and he can show that even the son of a president is not above the law.

It always seemed unlikely that Hunter Biden would not escape punishment in the case. First of all, he admitted in his autobiography that he was using crack cocaine at a time when he falsely claimed that he was drug-free on the paperwork for a gun purchase. For that lie, he will be forced to be entered in a diversion program.

Furthermore, there really isn’t a ton of evidence required for charging someone with failing to pay federal income tax. They either did or they didn’t, and it appears that Hunter Biden did not do so in 2017 and 2018.

Finally, the optics would have been too bad if he had been allowed to go without punishment.

Considering all of that, and the fact that it is happening long before the 2024 presidential campaign kicks into high gear, this is probably a best-case-scenario for President Biden – as long as he doesn’t pardon his son and as long as Hunter Biden doesn’t do anything stupid.

What is striking about this deal are the similarities (or lack thereof) to this month’s indictment of former President Donald Trump.

It seems very clear that the Department of Justice (DOJ) does not want to put well-connected, wealthy white men in prison – especially not if that has political implications.

The difference is that Hunter Biden was smart enough to take a deal while Trump was too stupid to do so, even though his lawyers reportedly tried to broker a deal.

The former president could have just returned the classified documents he has been charged with illegally retaining, and everything would have been fine.

There is another parallel between Trump, who is no stranger to tax evasion, and Hunter Biden. Both made incriminating statements that is complicating their legal situation, Biden once in his autobiography, and Trump constantly on social media and TV.

And even though the former president could have avoided legal trouble in the documents case, he and his supporters will characterize this deal as further evidence that there is a two-tiered system of justice.

“Hunter Biden pleading guilty to a gun charge and misdemeanor tax charges with no jail time is a stunt to make him look like he is just cooperating with the DOJ,” tweeted Trump superfan Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) shortly after news of the deal broke on Tuesday morning.

The former president also wasted little time before weighing in.

“Wow! The corrupt Biden DOJ just cleared up hundreds of years of criminal liability by giving Hunter Biden a mere “traffic ticket.” Our system is BROKEN!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social website shortly after news of the deal broke on Tuesday morning.

This is, of course, false. There were no “hundreds of years of criminal liability,” but the truth, facts, and reality have never stopped Trump before.

And neither will this deal stop Republicans from continuing to pursue Hunter Biden in various other investigations.


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